Thursday, December 4, 2003

Over-the-Rhine Chamber teams up



By John Byczkowski
The Cincinnati Enquirer

A new agreement with the Greater Cincinnati Chamber of Commerce will provide expanded benefits for members of the Over-the-Rhine Chamber of Commerce, the two organizations announced Wednesday.

Members of the Over-the-Rhine chamber can now join the Greater Cincinnati chamber for just $99, making them eligible to participate its health benefits and workers compensation insurance programs.

The Greater Cincinnati chamber has more than 6,000 member companies, making it one of the nation's largest. The Over-the-Rhine chamber has 550 members.

Tom Besanceney, president of the Over-the-Rhine chamber, said his organization is too small to provide its members with access to health benefits.

The new agreement "really opens the door for our members," he said.

Memberships in the Greater Cincinnati chamber start at $350. Memberships in the Over-the-Rhine chamber start at $100 for companies with five employees or fewer.

About 1,000 members of the Greater Cincinnati chamber participate in the health benefits program, and 4,000 are in the workers comp program, said John Bosse, that group's director of membership development.

Adding the members of the Over-the-Rhine chamber means "we can negotiate better rates for all our members," and gives the Greater Cincinnati chamber "a louder voice in the community," Bosse said.

E-mail johnb@enquirer.com



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